FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED?
I am one of the artists in residence at Western Avenue Studios & Lofts in Lowell, MA! Western Avenue is home to hundreds of creatives and makers of a multitude of mediums, making it one of the largest artistic communities in the country. The studios are located in a group of former textile mill buildings, and they're also home to a brewery, cafe, and food trucks on weekends. I highly recommend allowing some time to wander the halls before or after your session to experience five floors of artwork.
Lowell is located about 30 miles outside of Boston. The drive to Western Avenue from Lowell Station (Commuter Rail) is just over five minutes by car, with additional easy access to the Lowell Connector and provided parking for those who don't take the train, making the studios easily accessible. The building is also wheelchair accessible, with both ramps and elevators if needed.
WHAT SHOULD I WEAR TO MY SESSION?
First things first, wear what makes you feel comfortable and confident! I 100% recommend over-packing for your session. Bring layers, different fabrics, contrasting/complementary colors, and variety. Experiment with glasses and jewelry if you'd like. Focus on earth and jewel tones; make sure to bring both neutrals and bolder colors. Avoid athletic fabrics, overly busy patterns, graphic tees/sweatshirts, neon, and anything ill-fitting (form-fitting is best, avoid anything too boxy or baggy).
I'd also recommend bringing a lint brush and making sure your clothes are well ironed before the session (I have a garment rack to hang outfits).
IS HAIR / MAKEUP NECESSARY?
Makeup is something I highly recommend for all of my clients. It's important in helping to mattify your face and accentuate lighting. If you're not experienced in doing your own makeup, consider asking a friend, as I'm not currently partnered officially with a makeup artist.
Translucent setting powder is an essential for both masculine and feminine looks. Men may also use a lightweight foundation, green anti-redness cream, and cover up (must be well-blended). Women may use all of these items, as well as mascara, light eyeliner, lipstick, and light blush. Mild to moderate skin imperfections can be removed in post-production, though redness and dryness are notoriously difficult to remove.
IS RETOUCHING NECESSARY?
When it comes to headshots or any closely cropped portraits, the aesthetic differences retouching can bring are quite substantial. Retouching corrects skin tone and texture, removes blemishes / stray hairs, enhances eyes, and dulls wrinkles. You'll definitely notice the difference!
WHAT LIFESTYLE CHOICES SHOULD I MAKE TO LOOK MY BEST FOR THE SESSION?
Staying well-hydrated, eating relatively healthy, moisturizing, and getting plenty of sleep are four essentials when it comes to shoot prep. You'll want to stick with a non-oily moisturizer and a good lip balm. Cracks in the lips can be tricky to fix in post-production.
If you're planning on cutting your hair, consider doing it about three days to a week before the session, depending on your hairstyle. Use mattifying and de-frizzing products on the day of the shoot if necessary.
If you have facial hair, make sure it's properly cared for and lined up shortly before the session. If you prefer to go clean-shaven, shaving and moisturizing on the morning of the session will look best. If you have skin irritation post-shaving, consider shaving the night before the session.
HOW DOES PAYMENT WORK?
Headshot and portrait sessions will require a 50% retainer fee (non-refundable starting a week before the session, unless in the event of emergency). I accept deposit payments digitally, and final payments may be paid digitally or with cash or check. The deposit is due upon booking and the second half of the payment is due the day before or morning of the shoot. In the case of exceptions, galleries will not be delivered until payment is finalized.
HOW DOES RESCHEDULING / CANCELLATION WORK?
Sessions must be canceled or rescheduled at least a week in advance, except in the event of an emergency. If we must reschedule the session, your retainer fee will serve as a placeholder. If we must permanently cancel for a reason pertaining to me or if you cancel more than a week before the session, I will refund the retainer fee deposit ASAP.
HOW FAR IN ADVANCE SHOULD I BOOK?
Sessions should ideally be booked at least two weeks in advance. Depending on my schedule, I may be able to take inquiries about shoots on shorter notice, so feel free to inquire. When it comes to booking: the earlier, the better.
HOW / WHEN WILL I RECEIVE MY PHOTOS?
You'll receive your photos digitally, in high resolution JPEG format, through a link to an online gallery (generally between 5-8 days after your session, depending on my schedule). For headshots, after submitting choices for retouching, the final images will be delivered within another 1 to 3 weeks, depending on my schedule / the number of retouches requested.
MAY I HAVE THE RAW FILES / EDIT THE PHOTOS FROM MY SESSION OR BOOKING?
I do not release RAW files to clients, as I apply my own personal editing style to each photo before releasing the album to a client. I also request that clients refrain from adding any personal edits to images, such as changes to exposure levels, color balance, or grain, as it goes against my policy.
DO YOU DO CONSULTATIONS?
Consultations following booking are available upon request. They take place over the phone or video chat. If you're new to being in front of the camera or are looking to throw ideas around, this may be a good choice for you.
MAY I BRING A FRIEND OR FAMILY MEMBER TO MY SESSION?
Yes you may! Feel free to have someone join you at the studio if you'd like. I do request a limit of one guest and that they remain on the sidelines for the most part, though they are welcome to assist you if you'd like.
DO YOU WORK WITH ALL AGE GROUPS?
I'm happy to work with subjects of all ages, though, in any case where the sole client is under the age of 18, a parent or guardian must be present for the entirety of the session.
WHAT IS A "LOOK"?
A look constitutes a full outfit, vibe, and potentially backdrop change. Some ways to make the most out of your available looks are to add or remove layers, jewelry, hats, or glasses.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A PORTRAIT AND A HEADSHOT?
A headshot is more focused on marketability, with very particular framing and intent, while a portrait allows more room for experimentation and variety in content and framing.